The aspect of web services is fairly new to business, so the question of where it should be placed within a company’s budget can be confusing. To begin with, web services can mean different things depending on the person. One manager may consider their web design as part of web services, while another executive does not. For most companies, web services will include the design, development, content, applications, and any other items associated with Internet marketing, such as social media.
Therefore, when you are considering where to put web services in your budget, you should consider everything associated with the Internet as included in the definition. Most people would assume that these costs should be included with all other information technology expenses. Although this isn’t wrong, it automatically places web services in an area that is not considered a critical part of the business by most companies. Replacing a computer is rarely as high a priority as promoting a new product. However, lumping web services into the information technology side of a budget is a huge mistake.
Smart companies realize that web services are a great marketing tool that can be used to advertise your business, services, and products to a variety of potential customers. A custom website design is only the beginning. Businesses should understand that web development must go beyond the corporate website. Of course, you want a great web design that will target customers in your area, but to truly achieve growth you must incorporate all aspects of the Internet. Your custom website design should be used as a hub for all other Internet ventures. For instance, blogs and the use of social media are great ways to advertise new products or services. These tools can also be used to grow a loyal customer base. All of these techniques will deliberately draw people to your website.
Businesses are learning that advertising dollars are more effective when they are applied to online marketing. Television and radio ads are no longer generating the revenue they once did. This isn’t surprising, since must consumers now use DVR’s so they can fast forward past commercials or listen to their iPod rather than the car radio. Smart executives know that if you want to increase revenues, you must go where the consumer is. Today, the consumer is on social media sites, like YouTube and Facebook. He or she is using search engines on a daily basis and accessing data on smartphones. In order to gain customers, you must utilize the technologies available that are capturing the consumer’s attention.
So should web services be included as part of your marketing/advertising budget? Absolutely; there is no other place that it should be. In fact, if you are not using web services to market your business, no matter what your website looks like, you are not making the most of it. Web development is more than just creating a web design for the boutique up the street. It must include the use of social media and everything else the Internet has to offer.